Top SQL: Find and Fix High-Impact Database Queries

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What is SentryOne Top SQL?

Top SQL is a user interface that displays long-running and high-impact queries so you can easily troubleshoot SQL Server performance problems. With sortable grids, runtime charts, and index and statistics analysis, you can quickly determine root cause, prioritize issues, and move on to the next problem.


You'll find this feature in:

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Shouldn’t fixing bad SQL Server queries be easier?


Want to know what was going on in your SQL Server environment while you were in a meeting, or even when you were sleeping?  Was there one query that performed poorly? Was there a suspect statement that ran thousands of times in a short period of time?  Tracing query history is difficult to do with built-in SQL Server tools like Management Studio (SSMS) or similar offerings.

If you’re frustrated by the time it takes to find and fix poorly performing, high-impact queries, take a closer look at SentryOne. Our Top SQL capabilities make your life as a DBA or developer easier by helping you identify and diagnose query performance bottlenecks. Stop wasting time fixing query problems: With Top SQL, you can speed query troubleshooting so you can move on to more strategic initiatives.


Top SQL screenshot

Top SQL: Monitor and find low-performing, high-impact database queries

It’s no surprise that Top SQL is one of the most heavily utilized features in SentryOne: Monitoring and optimizing the queries executed against the SQL Server environment can have a profound impact on database performance.



SentryOne Plan Explorer helps you get to the root of the toughest SQL Server query problems by displaying query stats and history.


With Top SQL, you can list all T-SQL batches, stored procedures, and statement events collected for the current date range that exceeded the specified duration, CPU, or IO thresholds.

The query history chart visualizes your potentially troublesome queries framed hourly, daily, or weekly. You will see whether database queries show suspicious behavior at a glance. By drilling down on your query history, you can see the query duration, CPU consumption of each query, the number of reads and writes performed, and more.  

You can even take a quick look at the query plan behind your query or procedure, and open, analyze, and optimize that plan with SentryOne Plan Explorer, a powerful feature that is built into the SentryOne Monitoring Platform and is also available as a free, standalone product.

Top SQL Feature Summary

  • View all your queries by data range
  • Specify the minimum duration or other criteria (e.g., CPU time) for filtered queries
  • Drill down on any suspicious query for further information
  • Analyze your queries across your entire SQL Server environment and for each server instance
  • Jump between your Top SQL tab in SentryOne and other Performance Analysis views such as the Dashboard and Plan Explorer
  • Use Top SQL for analyzing your high-impact queries across the Microsoft Data Platform, including SQL Server, SSAS, and Azure SQL DB

“SentryOne helped me quickly drill down from Top SQL to the query plan and dashboard to evaluate performance and bottlenecks. It demonstrated for me that several of the SQL Servers were over allocated in resources.”

—SentryOne Customer

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